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News Release
U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island

September 7, 2011



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A Massachusetts man, currently serving a federal prison sentence for bank robbery, was sentenced Wednesday to an additional 37 months in federal prison for assaulting a correctional officer at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, R.I. U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced the sentencing of Joseph Lafata, 30, formerly of Gloucester, Mass.

According to court records, on October 14, 2010, Lafata assaulted a correctional officer during a dispute over a pair of sneakers. The officer suffered facial injuries as a result of the attack. The incident also caused a disturbance between other detainees and correctional officers, which was quickly quelled.

The sentence, imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi, was ordered to be served consecutive to a 10-year sentence Lafata is currently serving for bank robbery, which was imposed in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts in September 2010.

The assault was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service in Providence, with the assistance of the Investigations Unit and Security Division at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zechariah Chafee.

Contact: 401-709-5357

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